“We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.
Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.” – Henri Nouwen
I believe this to be true.
The privilege of speaking on Sunday morning and revealing the truth about my past continues to resonate with me. Truth-telling is healing.
This process has been long; it began years ago and culminated in many ways with Sunday’s talk. But it continues still. Countless people have contacted me via email and Facebook to raise their hand, to say, “Me too!”, to get something off of their chest, to tell me about further conversation that happened in their family.
If you are one of those people, how I wish you knew how much company you had!
I continue to need to read words like Nouwen’s above, and to be reminded that every day must be lived with intentionality. Walking in the light is a choice.
HT to Cynthia, my blogging friend, who wrote about her weekend here.